Libya’s Haftar Denies Responsibility After Airstrike Kills 44 Migrants

Former general claims detainees were planted there as human shields

An airstrike in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli hit a detention center for migrants, killing at least 44 civilians. There has been no claim of credit for the attack, though the unity government blamed the attack on forces loyal to former Gen. Khalifa Hafter’s “Libyan National Army.”

Hafter, however, denied that his forces were behind such an attack, insisting they never target government, private or public institutions.” He did however confirm that his forces carried out a strike near the detention center, against a nearby military site.

This led Hafter to speculate that the people at the military site, who “do not care about violating human rights,” might’ve put all those detainees at the site as human shields, even though the airstrike clearly hit a building that was previously referred to as a detention center.

The detention center is in Tajoura neighborhood, which is where a lot of the unity government-aligned militias are based. These militias are regular targets for Hafter’s forces, and strikes have been occurring with increasing frequency.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of